All good things must come to an end one day.
It was 2016 when Ford made its triumphant return to the most grueling endurance race there is, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Its all-new GT race car was ready for the Circuit de la Sarthe. Ford already had a special history with Le Mans, having beaten Ferrari there in 1966, 1967, and 1968. That was an amazing accomplishment given Ferrari's long-winning racing program.
Jump back to the present and this year's Le Mans will be the GT racing program's final outing. To commemorate the occasion, Ford has revealed a series of "Celebration Liveries" for the Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs. Four factory GTs are currently being shipped to France, each one wearing a unique livery with a special meaning.
The #66 GT has a black livery that echoes that of the Ford GT40 raced by none other than Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon and won the '66 Le Mans. The #67 car pays tribute to the Ford GT40 driven by Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt, who won the '67 race. Number 68 is for Ford's most recent Le Mans winner, which took the chequered flag in 2016. The #69 car takes its design cues from the second-place finishing GT40 from 1966, the year of Ford's amazing 1-2-3 finish. Lastly, the # 85 Ford GT is being raced in the GTE Am class by customer team Keating Motorsports. It wears the same livery design as the four factory Fords but with one exception: it bears the colors of its title sponsor, Wynn's.
"In 2016, Ford returned to Le Mans to mark the 50th anniversary of our incredible 1966 win and we celebrated in the best way possible by winning the race," said Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Company. "To stand on that podium on behalf of the employees was a proud moment for me and I look forward returning to Le Mans this year to support the team as we approach our final race in this chapter." This year's 24 Hours of Le Mans gets underway on June 15, but these Ford GTs will be on the track this coming Sunday specifically to display their liveries and for necessary photo ops.